Thursday, December 31, 2015

Website Launch!

Hello my fitness followers!

I wanted to give you all a heads up that this up coming Monday, January 4th at 12pm my professional website will officially launch!

You might have seen my Instagram posts lately promoting my new venture like these:

I am excited to finally launch, I've been working on this thing for the past three months. I can't count the amount of hours I spent formatting, adding photos, changing text, adding pages, and then deleting everything and starting from scratch. But, I believe now it's ready.

Now what does this website have and how will it benefit you?

1. A referral source for clients and the ability to create an online community.

I found that over this past year, training on my own, and starting my own business, it was tough to get my name out there without having a website. Having a functional website will allow the ability to get noticed and ultimately connect, and most importantly educate others in fitness. I want to be able to help more people than just my circle of in person clients. I feel it's my sole purpose to spread the knowledge of obtaining sustainable health for the every day person.

My goal is to reach as many people as possible. For 2016, I want to connect with 10,000 people in some shape or form. From views on my blog and website, Instagram likes, Facebook likes, Youtube views, emails, or just a simple text message saying "Hey, I saw your website, keep doing what you're doing." This is what I hope to achieve and spread the gift of knowledge.

2. One stop shop for fitness and nutrition guidelines.

You've probably seen most of my posts mocking so called "fitness professionals" selling you snake oil online, and some how are multi millionaires.

I will do just the opposite, just like my blog, I will have FREE and accessible content on my website for you to read, enjoy, and share. I will never sell out and begin to promote waist trainers, shake weights or any other ridiculous looking fitness apparatus.  

3. Quality programs and meal plans for purchase. 

I will have a fully functional E Store set up on my website, for programs and meal plans. Since I've been fascinated by the online fitness business, what better way to wet my feet than building my own E store.

This section of my website will have programs for men and women, specialized towards fat loss, performance, and aesthetic goals. Each program is a PDF version that has descriptions of each exercise along with a link to my Youtube page with a specific exercise playlist that correlates to your program.

Now I don't want to spoil any more, so you will just need to wait and see! The count down begins!


Thursday, December 24, 2015

How to Pistol Squat

Many of you have probably seen this video of me:

I received a lot of attention good and bad, from this; But the point is the execution of the pistol squat. I have a solid range of motion that allows me squat low and with my form intact.

Since my Facebook post sparked some interest on how to progress to a full pistol squat, I thought I'd share my thoughts how to get there.

1. Mobility

If you can't touch your toes without bending your knees you might have trouble achieving full depth. Body parts such as your lower back, will begin to compensate. When your back becomes your prime mover you can fall into a category of pain, and we don't want that.

How can you improve your mobility? Here are a few things I want you to focus on.

- Foam Rolling:  Foam rolling is the single greatest thing since sliced bread. If you're not foam rolling, you're not living!

There has been tons of research out there proving foam rolling can improve movement, decrease pain, restore muscle imbalances and more. So, please take the time and roll!

Here is a video of all the spots you should be hitting every day to loosen up and improve your range of motion.

- Lower body mobility exercises: After your foam roll you should focus on a couple exercises that help improve range of motion. Here are three you should focus on.

Dynamic Hip Flexor Stretch:

Hamstring Drops:

Squat Hip Mobility Stretch

You should take the time to practice these three exercises above, along with foam rolling on a daily basis, to improve your mobility. This in turn will allow you to achieve a deep single leg squat. Improving your mobility is just like anything else. Practice. The more you practice, the better it becomes.

The phrase "If you don't use it, you lose it" works quite well here. Mobility is earned and is taken away as you age. Get off your chair and start working these mobility drills ASAP!

2. Single Leg Strength

Along with building mobility you should also be strong on one leg. If you are a firm believer of squatting on two legs, you might have to open your mind a bit and try single leg variations like these:

Rear Foot Elevated Split Squats:

Single Leg Squats to a Bench:

Single Leg Step Downs:

Being able to perform these three above with efficient movement and eventually weight will prepare you to try a full pistol squat. It might take some practice and time, but is definitely worth it, as it's more bad ass to pistol squat than a regular meat head barbell squat!


Thursday, December 17, 2015

"Gym-ing" You're Doing It Wrong...

Hello Fitness Freaks!

Today will be another blog post based on my Facebook question from last week. I will be throwing down common mistakes I see in the gym, and in the world of health and fitness.

1. Cardio.

Back in the day when I first started my career I worked at a big box gym. Thousands of square feet of iron, rarely touched by an average Joe. Why? Most likely every typical person out there is intimidated by the "juice monkeys" preaching "Bro-Science" staring at themselves in the mirrors while doing curls. 

Then plan B happens. Cardio machines! Treadmills, rowers, stair climbers, bikes, you name it. Day in and day out all these people chasing fat loss and not getting the results they want. They end up discouraged and leave the gym, never to come back and still pay the monthly fees for the rest of their lives. 

What should you do instead? Hire a trainer to at least show you how to do the basics. People have this idea that hiring a personal trainer is some luxury that only multi millionaires can have. Why not get one session per month and a program? Most trainers (in my area) charge any where from $80-$100 per hour for a private session. You probably spend that amount of money going out to dinner every weekend so let's put things into perspective people!

2. Fitness Idols With Advice.


I see so many people look in the wrong areas of the internet and TV for fitness advice. It's not their fault as the media has control over everything we ingest with our eyes and ears. We are left with quacks that prescribe nutrition and fitness advice that can be harmful and just plain old stupid to your well being. 

It makes me cringe knowing that some of these "fitness gurus" selling snake oil are worth more than $100 million dollars that are feasting on the general public that have no clue. 

Enough of me ranting about them, here are some solutions when it comes to fitness advice from the actual professionals!

  • Dr. John Berardi - Founder of Precision Nutrition
  • Bret Contreras - "The Glute Guy"
  • Sohee Lee - Great inspiration for women trying to get strong out there
  • Kevin Larabee - Amazing and intelligent strength coach, and creator of The Fitcast
  • Jon Goodman - Founder of the PTDC that contains all the current fitness and health info 
This list could go on forever but this a a start! Just let me know what you're looking for and I'll guide you in the right direction. Hey! I might be of good use too! haha

3. Deadlifts..........


This one exercise has it's own section as this single exercise is one of the most butchered lifts out there. I've seen way too many times, people lifting huge weight with rounded backs. Every time I see form on the lines of the picture above my eyes start bleeding and I can hear your discs exploding out of your spine.

Instead, you should go through the proper progression before deadlifting.

1. Can you touch your toes without bending your knees? This is the first prerequisite if you are able to deadlift off the floor.

2. Can you engage your hamstrings and glutes throughout the movement? If not, most likely your back is doing all the work.

3. Is your lower back ever sore after deadlifting? This is probably because you're doing it wrong.

Here is a great video from Neghar, explaining how to deadlift properly. Enjoy.

Questions? Thoughts? Comments? Let me know!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

How Much Do I Need to Eat?

First off, I am happy that my Facebook post stirred up some attention. I will blog about the questions and topics you've asked. Since I am all about nutrition, I thought I'd start off with calories and macros, and how to use them.

Many people understand some of the basics. If I eat less I'll loose weight. If I exercise more I'll loose weight. But when those two things are stressed enough your results ends up hitting a wall. Then you don't really know where to go from there.

I personally believe you should have a general idea where your macro nutrient intake is, on a daily basis to:

1. Know if you are eating enough

2. Know if you are over eating

What are macro nutrients? Well let's get started and figure out and how much you need on a daily basis.

Macro nutrients are made up of 3 things:

1. Protein
2. Carbs
3. and Fats

Why are these 3 things important?

1. Protein - helps to control your appetite. It keeps you feeling full longer than carbs or fats, and takes longer digest. Which means, you burn more calories eating protein than carbs and fats. This is why with every client I train I tell them to up their protein intake. No matter what the situation, more protein can be very useful in any fitness goal. Unless you are having 6 protein shakes a day, you should probably cut that out immediately...

2. Carbs - Is stored in our livers, brain, blood and muscles as gylcogen. Which then can be used for energy production. Depending what your goals are, it depends how many grams of carbs you need per day to produce your desired result.

3. Fat - Is essential to our bodies for living. It helps us absorb vitamins, hormone regulation and brain function. Many people still live in the fear of Fat = More Fat on the body. Not true! Fat can help burn that stubborn spare tire off of you!

So... how many calories per day should you be having? Well that depends on what your goals are and what type of body you have, age, activity level and other factors. But for the sake of this blog I will show you an example of the most common client's calorie intake should look like.

Since I follow Precision Nutrition's guidelines, below is an example how they calculate calorie intake.

Example 1:

140lbs woman that's moderately active that wants to lose weight would eat between 1680 calories to 1960. 

PN has a formula that goes like this ( your body weight) x 12-14 for a moderate active individual. 12 is equal to 1680cal and 14 is equal to 1960 cal. Why these numbers? A lot of years of research and trial and error. These numbers turned out to be the best when it came to calculating calories for weight loss.

Now, how should this individual spread out her macros? Since this woman is trying to loose weight I'm assuming her body type would be on the thicker and bigger side. She is probably insulin dominant, has a slow metabolic rate, and most likely a low carbohydrate tolerance due to her weight gain over the years.

I would put her on:

35% of her diet Protein
25% of her diet Carbs
40% of her diet Fat

Now how does this look in grams per day?

Since her calories is suggested on the low end 1680 calories, just divide the percentages and you receive your daily allowance.

558 grams of Protein
420 grams of Carbs
672 grams of Fat

How much is that per meal? Just divide 5 meals a day and you have your numbers!

111.6 grams of protein per meal
84 grams of carbs per meal
134.4 grams of fat per meal

When you break down the numbers you can really see a balanced ratio and may even surprise you if you are not eating enough,

Remember, this is just an example. EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT. To properly determine what you need, I'd have to sit down with you discuss your goals, background, body type, and more just to figure out a baseline and then hammer out the fine details.

If you'd like to know more, feel free to ask!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

My 40 Hour Fast Experiment

You might be asking yourself, "why?"

You might be also wondering "whats the point?"

And finally you're thinking.......

Before I start a word of caution. Just because I'm sharing my experience of fasting does not mean this is for you. This doesn't mean that you should go on Google and start researching how to fast and implement it in your daily life.

Fasting is a strict way of eating, and majority people will struggle with it. Let's put it this way, eating 5 meals a day with vegetables at every single meal, no skipped meals, protein at every meal, and only 3 cheat meals in the week is equivalent to playing recreational hockey with friends. Fasting protocols on the other hand, is like playing in the NHL. Don't be stupid and go play with NHL players when you don't know how to skate in the first place.....

Now that my disclaimer is out of the way, please read below.

If you have known me for a couple years, you probably know that I've been a huge advocate of Intermittent Fasting. There are many protocols, but the one I follow is a 16/8 schedule. Fast for 16 hours and then have a window of 8 hours to eat. Next week I will go into detail to why I do it, and how it's done. But for now I want to let you all know my experience with fasting for such a long period of time.

Let us begin with why I did this in the first place. Well for one, I love to experiment. I've been always interested in fasting and since 4 years ago when I started as a trial, I never stopped. I've seen and read people fasting for longer periods of 24 hours, so I finally decided to give it a go.

The science behind this method is fat loss, obviously. If you remember back when I wrote a couple blogs about certain hormones, this is where it all comes together. 

Dieting long term causes leptin to drop, which slows down your fat loss. The more active leptin is, the more fat you will burn. Having cheat days causes your leptin hormone to turn on and work twice as hard to burn all those excess calories, which in turn overall makes you leaner in the bigger picture. Starting to follow me now?

By having an "over feed"  one day during the week is more beneficial than have small cheat snacks throughout the week, as those small snacks can't trigger leptin as much as a full day cheat.

Following this I am able to prevent any fat gain from eating like a mad man, and any stagnated fat loss, which allows a hormonal benefit from the fast to proceed uninterrupted. 

My experiment? Saturday was gloves off for junk. Sunday fast for full 24 hours, then Monday at 11am (still following my 16/8 protocol) have my first regular meal in the day. Total 40 hours, no food.


Meal 1: Half of a spinach dip party tray, nachos with beef, cheese, guac, sour cream, salsa, left over halloween candy and to wash it all down a couple mimosas.

Meal 2: Burger with Caesar salad, more spinach dip and bread, and more halloween candy.


Water, black coffee, and green tea throughout the whole day

Monday Morning

Water, black coffee

11am: First meal regular meal.

How did I feel? Sunday night I had a light headache and mild hunger, but I was impressed I wasn't dying on the floor in pain. I think the headache was due to dehydration. Even though I drank around 5 litres of water, I still felt like I could drink more. This is probably due to the lack of water from my food. Since I eat a lot of vegetables on a daily basis, and vegetables contain a lot of water, this makes sense.

On Monday morning I felt normal, nothing out of the ordinary, I actually felt better than I did on Sunday.

What do you think about fasting? Let me know!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

"I eat pretty good" The One Phrase Holding You Back

It's interesting when I meet people or train clients and they use the phrase "I eat pretty good" around me. Their perception of eating well must be on a spectrum that I never heard of because these are the same people that struggle with fat loss.

This phrase is as convincing as Donald Trump's presidential campaign. Sad part is, he will probably win....

Many people believe the way they eat right now is the most efficient way to loose a couple pounds. But being realistic, the past couple years that you've been eating this way hasn't changed. If you're not willing to change, you need to stop thinking it will. These same people fall under the category of thinking exercise can cancel out a bad diet. I never seen one person loose 10lbs when training 3x a week and eating like crap, or not eating enough throughout the day.

One simple thing to remember is if you want to change something in your life, you need to do something that you haven't done before. This is what gives you a different result.

Ask yourself these questions:

1. When was the last time I tracked how many calories I eat on an average day?

2 . When was the last time I ate a combination of protein, vegetables and good fat in every single meal for a week straight?

3. When was the last time I prepared meals for my entire week?

4. When was my last alcoholic beverage?

5. When was the last time I ate out?

If it took you a while to think of an answer for the first 3 questions and fired back quick answers for the last two, you are in deep trouble!

So what do I suggest you do? Look at your daily routine. Be realistic, what small changes could you do right now that will help you reach your goal?

Is getting in vegetables difficult? Try using a greens powder supplement.

Is missing snacks during the day a constant battle? Keep easy to pack snacks with you at all times. Boiled eggs, cut up vegetables and hummus, protein bars, etc.

Every excuse you have there's a solution. You just need to want it bad enough.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Instagram Famous Trainers

Hate is a strong word, and I rarely use it. But what bugs me the most are the so called "personal trainers" on Instagram or any social media outlet(and I can name a few). They usually have 1 million plus followers and have a cult like following with everything they do; release a product and name it "bikini workout" and over night you're a multi millionaire.

Most of the time these "trainers" don't have a certification behind their belts, but have a body to show off and that's what people want to see. A body image that one day could be theirs.(But realistically that never will happen)

I just want to be clear, I am in no way jealous that they have more followers than me, or they are multi millionaires. Sure a few extra bucks in the bank would be nice, but not if I had to sell out and sell my soul for it.

Recently one of these Insta stars came out and told the truth about her "healthy" and "inspirational" life. She quickly had success by posting pictures on her Instagram account like this...

She realized she wasn't in fact promoting inspiration to women across the world, but instead creating a unrealistic image for women to achieve. The image of having a flat toned stomach, a thigh gap and so called "self love."

In her emotional discussion about self image in this article click here she admits being born with good genetics combined with calorie restriction, missing meals and excessive amounts of workouts paved the way for her success. Her idea of loving herself quickly turned into an ugly realization that what she was doing wasn't helping anyone.

Essena has now deleted her Instagram account, snapchat, and all of her social media accounts and started fresh with a new website helping women over come body image issues.

Now where am I going with all of this? 

I want to let everyone know the fake world of Instagram trainers and fit people creates a pile of crap and expectations that having a perfect body solves your problems. Following someone on the internet because they have six pack abs and you want to be like them is fine, but the moment you begin to hate yourself without knowing it creates a problem. 

Remember all of these people you see online have the gift of genetics. They are the 1% with great bodies of Greek Gods and Goddess. Its equivalent to you playing recreational soccer on the weekends and putting yourself down because you're not good as David Beckham..... When you put it that way, its crazy, but for some reason many people can't get that through their minds.

Remember, be yourself, love yourself, and don't get trapped into that fake reality. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

New Services, New Projects, Here's what I'm up to!

If you're like me you like planning projects and looking forward to the future and what it holds.

Sometimes I think about projects and ideas so much that my brain will race all over the place to the point where I can't fall asleep at night on a Tuesday night knowing I have to wake up at 5am morning to train clients.

You do everything to try to get to sleep. Count sheep, stop singing that stupid Selena Gomez song, figuring out how many more mortgage payments you need to pay off the house, and of course turn your pillow to the cool side.

This leaves me writing my ideas down and reading a few more pages in my current book and possibly going on my phone to check out some more things. All of this will happen within 30 minutes trying to fall a sleep, then asking myself "what if I did this instead?" "what if I made this first" and then I will hopefully get to sleep around 1am....

So, here is what I am focusing on next that will help you, my readers expand your knowledge in the world of fitness and health.

1. My Website! Yes, I will finally have my own website. I am hoping to have it up and running this December or the latest in January. The reason why I have waited so long (almost a year) to have my own website is content. I could have easily put up a website my first month of my business but I wouldn't have anything! I'd be paying for a page with barely any content.

Now I am at a point where I will have things to offer and have frequent contentfor my readers and clients.

I plan to have a free ebook for everyone who signs up to my website which contains over 20 fitness related tips and explained in detail.

I will have products such as programs, supplements, small gym equipment, meal plans, online training and more!

2. Nutritional Coaching: With the success of my Transformation Challenge I will be offering my clients and online clients a chance for nutritional coaching on a bi-weekly and monthly basis. I've already mentioned this service to those in my challenge as they will have "dibs" on spots first, and then I will be offering it to the general public.

So the first week of December 1st I will advertise this service to everyone and I will have limited spots open. Be sure to email me or comment below to reserve a spot!

3. Meal Plans: Same thing, the participants from the challenge will have the first crack at this service. I will be creating meal plans for you based on what you like to eat and keep it within your macros, calories and what you usually shop for, or need to start shopping for. We will figure out the best strategies to help you to your goal, whatever it may be, and create a meal plan to support it.

Be sure to check when I offer this to the general population as nutrition is usually the fall back on most people's fitness journey.

Now go and enjoy your weekends everyone!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Reality Check: Making Fitness a Priority

Before I dive into this, just a word of caution. I re wrote most of this, as I was going on a bit of a rant. Hopefully this blog entry isn't too harsh and you can still enjoy it.

As a training coach I see clients come and go. It's sometimes frustrating when someone new comes to me and really wants to change their life around in the fitness department, but some how disappears from the face of the Earth.

I understand life gets in the way sometimes, but I personally think that your priorities are out of whack.

How long can you go with low activity, poor eating choices, nagging injuries and life stress before your health deteriorates and there's no turning back?

You're probably reading this now fire red angry and think I am biased and have no idea how your life is. True, but I have an arsenal of clients and former clients that fit in 3-6+ hours a week of exercise with full time children and a career, doing it all year round without thinking twice.

How? They make it a priority without question. They know they don't have the same metabolism they had back in high school. They know the moment they stop exercising, it takes a short period of time to loose it ( 1 week you loose aerobic capacity, 2 weeks you loose strength about 20ish percent). They know it's hard work and have to continue.

Fitness is a lifestyle, not a 3 month thing where you loose 40lbs and you're good to go for the rest of your life. It's about sustainability, not a quick fix. You see so many of these "12 week fat loss programs"

"10 day juice cleanse starter diet"

"30 day shred fit bullshit program"

You get the idea.... Sometimes this is a place to start for people that creates a addiction to exercise and continue on. But for most, they start, maybe get through a couple weeks and quit.

So what should you consider when you want to get back into shape? Don't think its a 3 month, 6 month thing. It's a life style. Just like being a workaholic, book worm, and "Netflix and Chill"  type are life styles. You don't just do it for a few months and call it a day.

My point is plan that exercise will be part of your life, not just periodically. I never understood why people take "a break from the gym." This usually consists of "2-3 weeks off, and I'll be back" but then turns into a 3 month to a year hiatus from the gym. Why? What's the point? That's equivalent to your car having a few issues, you go get it fixed by the mechanic and tell yourself you won't drive it for a few months now that it's back to normal; a few months go by and you try to start you engine and it's not running as well as it was before when you fixed it.

Remember, since this is a life style change it's going to take time. The more you stop the more difficult it will be to get back into it, and see any real progress.  


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Big Announcement!

Hello Everyone!

I am proud to announce that I will be writing for a new athletic apparel company called RYU. I was introduced to them couple months back and I believe they will be the next leader in athletic clothing for the masses. As of right now they are in the opening stages and plan to have their first retail store open very soon.

From what I've seen they have everything. Workout tops, bottoms, accessories, you name it. I had the privilege to check out their head office in our very own down town Vancouver; I was impressed with every detail. From the energy buzzing through each person working, the colours of their offices, to the overall atmosphere they've created.

I'm excited to get started with them so early on and hope to expand my knowledge with more readers. If you'd like to check out more information, they also have a website up, give it a click and check it out!

Hope you will all follow their blog as I begin to write. My first blog for RYU should be up for next month of November. I will be sure to post it when it comes online.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Hormones and Fatloss Part Three

You 'Mirin?

This will be my final instalment of "Hormones and Fatloss".... I know you're all sad, but we need to move on. It's not you its me...And there is someone else...

Anyway! Let's get to it. Today we are talking about insulin... Many of you automatically think about carbs, but there is more to insulin than just carbs. But who doesn't think of carbs all the time? As I am typing this, I am thinking of every carb-full food out there; mainly pizza, a lot of pizza...

But, back to insulin, this guy controls how quickly you can lose fat and gain muscle to what food gives you energy or which ones make you crash, and end up in a carb filled coma.

Insulin is produced in the pancreas and is responsible to take nutrients to your cells in your liver, muscles and stored fat. When insulin is happy your cells are ready to hold onto nutrients, when you use insulin at the right time, like right after your workout (post workout shakes) you can direct all those nutrients to your muscle cells. Meaning more nutrients in your muscles = building lean muscle mass and burning fat!

Now insulin sensitivity is term you should know. High insulin sensitivity is king when it comes to building muscle and destroying fat. When your insulin sensitivity is low your are more susceptible to a "crash."; foods high in sugar are usually the cause of this.

So, how do I increase my insulin sensitivity to build muscle? Avoiding junk foods, and hitting the weights at LEAST 2x a week.

A word of caution. There are cases where people can become insulin resistant because of chronically high insulin levels. When this happens your blood sugar stays higher for longer periods of time because the carbs you put in your mouth are slowed down to the point where they can't reach your muscle cells and build and kill off that fat. Basically your body won't allow you to loose fat, and your stuck in this circle of hell.

Now remember I just scratched the surface on insulin. There are books dedicated to this topic alone, so don't go out there thinking your an insulin expert. I am merely opening your eyes how our bodies work on the inside to battle fat!

Also don't go trusting celebrities recommendations out there either, like Justin Bieber here...

Image result for carbs meme

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Hormones and Fat Loss Part Two

I hope you all enjoyed my last post on the hormone Leptin. We should now all have a better understanding when it comes to fat loss and leptin.

Now to further your knowledge of hormones, today we will focus on Ghrelin. What? Ghrelin, yes thats right. It sounds like jibberish and something I made up, but this hormone is responsible for telling you if you're hungry or not. Usually it will tell you that you're hungry all the time. Then you over eat, then you're sitting at 10+ lbs you shouldn't have gain last Christmas.

So let's dive right in further detail about our new friend Ghrelin.

We've all been there. We ate about an hour ago, you get bored at home and you "feel" like you can snack on something. But really you don't need to. Your brain is telling you no, but your body is telling you yes. Then you find yourself in the fridge and pantry going through every snack you have ever bought in the last month and feel disgusted that you finished off a half eaten bag of chips.

Ghrelin is your hunger hormone and is produced in your hypothalamus (in your brain) kidneys and along with your pituitary gland. (That was just an lesson from good old high school bio) Ghrelin is also synthesized in and released by the stomach whenever its empty, throughout the night and when you wake up each day. 

Here is the important thing to remember, Ghrelin follows a schedule, this schedule is based on your eating routine. Now if you plan your meals accordingly you can keep your hunger signals in check. But if you tend to skip meals, like forgetting to eat breakfast, you end up feeling hungry all the time and end up snacking; then when you're supposed to eat, your too full, and then the whole world explodes.

This is the spiral you don't want to go down. To make matters worse if you combine a horrible eating schedule along with bad sleep habits you get a shit storm. Ghrelin and poor sleep are like the annoying couple you know. Always posting pictures on Facebook, doing things, and you could care less if they bought matching T Shirts over the weekend.

The lack of sleep impacts the hormone levels in your brain which in turn pushes ghrelin to activate more frequently and there you have it, you are snacking uncontrollably. Now if this sounds like you, a simple step is to work on better sleep quality and a better eating schedule.

This is why I nag my clients to make it a habit to eat every 3-4 hours and have at least 7 hours of solid sleep.

If you can control these two factors, you can do anything when it comes to any fitness related goal!

Let me know if you have any questions!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Hormones and Fat Loss Part One!

Hello Everyone!

I've been reading a lot lately about hormones and how they are directly related to fat loss or any fitness related goal.

With a clear understanding how your hormones work inside of you, you will have a better grasp how to utilize them to your advantage. These hormones I will blog about in then next couple instalments all affect your mental, physical, social and emotional well being; with having such a huge impact on your life, it might be a good idea to know the 101 when it comes to hormones.

This week I want to focus on a hormone named Leptin. Since this name is derived from the greek word leptos meaning "thin" I think it is appropriate to use a good looking body photo for the cover of this blog.

And don't worry I won't discriminate, here is another one.

Now that we are done drooling over these fitness model's bodies, lets talk about leptin.

This one hormone in particular is very interesting, it plays a huge role in dropping the lbs when dieting. Since fitness models' job is to look lean for photo shoots they might not know but, when they go into their "cutting" phase, leptin is responsible for their bodies when achieving that lean chiselled look. But at the same time your body is smarter than you and will stop the process quick enough at a certain point, which is when you get frustrated with your fat loss and it hits a wall.

Does this sound familiar?

An example of this is when you see someone or yourself maybe drop pounds within days or weeks then hits a stand still. This is because of this little hormone in your body.

Leptin is responsible for regulating your metabolism along with other hormones such as your T3 and T4 (think thyroid for this one) When leptin reaches high levels your production of T3 and T4 will also go up. This process allows you to burn fat at a fast rate; but then when leptin levels drop, the other hormones drop as well.

Here is where the storm hits.... Leptin is produced in fat cells, which makes sense when you see the biggest loser constants loose 30lbs in one week. It's because they have a lot of fat, and a lot of leptin to help them melt that fat.

But, leptin is directly related to calories. When you eat less calories your leptin levels drop....Which causes your progress to a complete stop. Which also makes sense in the biggest loser example, as they go on, its more difficult for them to loose weight.

Now you're probably thinking....... I need to eat less to burn fat, but eating less destroys my ability to produce leptin, and leptin burns fat.... Makes no sense and its a giant circle of crap.

Well, shit what do I do now?

I will tell you. Things like:

  • hitting the weights at least 2x a week in the gym 
  • planned cheat days
  • high protein intake
  • low intake of fructose
  • and only dropping your calories to no more than 500 calories per week.
All of these any other strategies allow you to regulate and maintain optimal leptin levels for optimal fat loss.

Wow, who knew that hormones played such a huge role when it comes to fat loss?

Let me know if you have any questions!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

New Trend: Waist Trainers; the next worst thing in the industry.

When it comes to celebrities, people follow. If they wear certain clothing, eat a special diet, or endorse any product, people will buy.

Sometimes celebrities choose great companies and products, but most of the time, they are looking to make $$$ and will sacrifice whatever moral they have left in their souls to do so.

So here we go, it's time to bash on yet another ridiculous fad - The Waist Trainer.

If you don't know what a waist trainer is, its a device that resembles a corset from the early 15th century. The theory behind it, is your body will eventually mold into an hour glass figure, as the waist trainer promotes "shaping" and toning" effects to your body.

When you combine people like Kim Kardashian, Amber Rose and women on Instagram that post pictures like these

No wonder women would jump on this trend in a heart beat. Now lets look at the cause and effect with this contraption. 

I found this picture below to give you an idea what this promoting posture does to your insides. I am not sure who is responsible for the photo, but it gives a glimpse of what goes on when your body is strapped to this crazy device. 

I can't stand behind the intestines in this photo, but the rib cage and diaphragm I can. When you put yourself into this straight jacket your ribs go with it. Your ribs have slight movement in them; they move freely when you inhale and exhale, if your ribs are limited in motion, you wont be able to take a deep breathe in.

What happens when you can't breathe? You pass out....

There are numerous reviews and stories about this waist trainer where women have fractured/broken ribs because it was strapped on too tight; and passing out as they could not breathe efficiently

This whole idea of spot/fat reducing doesn't exist, but some how people believe it works. Sure squeezing the crap out of your love handles for 3 hours could make it appear smaller, but the next day you wake up, you are back to square one.

Why would you put yourself "in a such an uncomfortable position" (that was a Kim Kardashian quote BTW...) when 1. You should be comfortable with who you are, your flaws are what makes you perfect and 2. If you want your body to change, its dedicated hard work, there is no easy way out!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

How to Mom and Lift Heavy Things

Just want to start off by saying, I am by no means a parent, nor close to one. I am still very much a child, and probably be at heart my whole life; even when I have little munchkins of my own running around.

I want to let everyone know, this blog is an opinion, if you disagree with me, then sure that's completely fine, if you agree with me, then great! I am simply an observer from the window, I don't know how it is on the inside when it comes to parenting.

Now, lets get down into it...

Couple months ago, I was reading an article about finding your niche in the fitness industry. When I took time to think about it, I always thought it would be athletes. I grew up playing every sport you could imagine, and naturally thought I'd be training pro athletes one day. Well that's not how my career shaped into; I personally think it turned out far better.

I finally came to a conclusion that my niche of training is women...Primarily mothers. If you have ever noticed my Instagram/Facebook account, all the photos and videos I post of clients are fit and bad ass Moms.

Especially, the ones who I've trained for over a year; they become super heroes! From heavy dead lifts, full pull ups, and push ups from the floor, many of my female clients are stronger than their husbands.

I have an army of strong and bad ass Moms kicking butt in the gym every day!

After years of training these super heroes, I think I have a better grasp of what it takes for a new mother to get back into shape and feel good about herself after having a little one.

Here is my personal list for new mothers, or mothers who left fitness on the last of the priority list.

1. Make it a priority! I know this sounds redundant, but ask yourself when was the last time you allowed 1 hour to yourself a day? Or better 2 hours a week?!?!

No matter how many children you have, you can allow 2 hours a week to yourself to sneak off to the gym.

Can't find a sitter? Step one, ask your husband, keep nagging him until he breaks and says yes to look after the kids when you go to the gym. If this doesn't work, find an ultimatum; no home cooked meals for a week, no clean laundry for a week, or just get creative! 

Go through your circle of friends and family, make a deal with them to watch your kids. I'm sure family and friends don't mind once in a while to take turns looking after your kids.

Remember the proverb "It takes a village to raise a child" play this card and ask for help!

2. Set an example. As your children grow up, seeing their mother as a strong and fit individual will benefit them in the long run. Wouldn't you want your daughters to see that women can be as strong as the boys? Wouldn't you want your boys to see that women are not beneath them when it comes to strength?

They will also learn that physical exercise is a part of a healthy lifestyle, and wouldn't think twice of sitting on the couch all weekend staring at the TV or iPad. 

3. Enjoy life. After you get into a gym routine, learn to enjoy life! Appreciate what your body is going through. Don't criticize every inch of your body, but instead focus on what parts of your body you love. The better appreciation you have with what you got, will go a long way for your mental state;it embodies a healthy love for yourself . 

After realizing my niche is mothers, I truly believe its better than training any pro athlete out there. I can change their lives for the better, not only for them, but the entire family. 

It's better to bring happiness to someone's life than trying to better an athlete for him or her to make more millions per year.

What do you think?

Thursday, September 17, 2015

12 Pounds in 6 Weeks, Here's How I Did it!

Many of you might have known of my little experiment I've been working on lately.

I took the pledge to put on weight in shortest time possible, I chose 6 weeks.

I know, you all think I probably mowed down burgers from the drive through to reach my goal of gaining some lbs. But no, I ate clean and added 2 things to add on mass, and the best part is, I will share my experiment with you!

About 6 weeks ago I weighed in at 155lbs and 7.4% body fat, according to a bioimpedance scale. My daily diet consisted of:

5am: 2 Litres of water, 4 tablets of BCAAs, along with 1 cup of green tea

8am: 4 tablets of BCAAs

11am: Some sort of meat (chicken, beef, fish, etc) huge salad, along with some sort of fat (avocados, nuts, or spoonfuls of peanut butter)

3pm: 2 eggs, sauerkraut, kale chips, and fat ( avocados, nuts, or spoonfuls of peanut butter)

6pm: same as the 11am meal.

I don't eat until 11am as I follow a intermittent fasting protocol. (I might write about this in another blog)

Now the way I was eating here was perfect to maintain my 155lbs frame and my weight would fluctuate a couple pounds here or there only if one of my cheat meals over the weekend exceeded my daily calorie intake. 

Beers and burgers usually does it.... 

Now, you might be asking, what was my trick to gain 12lbs in 6 weeks? 2 things:

1. Peanut butter jelly sandwiches 

2. Chocolate milk.

1. Why PB and J? Reading a book called Mass Made Simple by Dan John, he recommended on workout days having a good old fashion PB and J sandwich after a heavy workout. He swore it was the best thing you could do to replenish/recover and put on some mass.

After my workouts for a snack I would add in one of these sandwiches. I used whole grain bread, natural peanut butter, and an organic strawberry jam, which had no artificial colours or sweeteners.

2. Chocolate milk? Reading an article from Precision Nutrition about one of their Olympic winter athletes sparked my interested. They described an off season regiment of bulking. The athlete would often gain 20-30lbs during the off season to focus on power and strength. The secret? Chocolate milk. Getting in 2 litres per day after workouts.

Reading further, the reasoning behind this madness was, drinking calories is a lot easier than eating them, and its easier on the digestive system.

So, what I did I do? Week one: 1 cup of chocolate milk in combination with my PB and J sandwich after workouts. Week two: 2 cups, week three: 3 cups, week 4... I think you got the idea. By week six its 6 cups of chocolate milk after workouts.

My diet started to look like this:

5am: 2 Litres of water, 4 tablets of BCAAs, along with 1 cup of green tea

8am: 4 tablets of BCAAs

11am: Some sort of meat (chicken, beef, fish, etc) huge salad, along with some sort of fat (avocados, nuts, or spoonfuls of peanut butter) with PB and J sandwich and chocolate milk (1-6 cups, depending on the week)

3pm: 2 eggs, sauerkraut, kale chips, and fat ( avocados, nuts, or spoonfuls of peanut butter)

6pm: same as the 11am meal, excluding the PB and J and chocolate milk.

Now I weigh in at 167lbs and depending how the scale wanted to spit out my body fat, it ranged from 8.4% to 9.6%..

I personally think this experiment went well. If you have any questions please let me know, as now I am a beast and can hardly make it through a door with my broad shoulders and swole biceps.